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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Chinese/Cantonese Media -- **Help! Translations Needed**

    Translation of page 97 of the Chinese forum four_seasons posted at http://bbs.tianya.cn/post-free-30771...0%83%E6%9F%A5] :

    From the autopsy, it has been deduced that Elisa Lam died on the 1st of February.

    (The guy and his companion still feel that an inspection and test of the elevator controls are of importance in concluding this case.
    They conducted tests at the hotel themselves.)

    First test : the length of time the elevator door stays open after the Door Hold is pressed.

    We found that when pressed, the elevator door stays open for nearly 2 minutes before closing.

    Besides, our tests concluded that if the elevator door is going to shut, and one presses Door Hold, there is a lapse of about 0.5 to 1 second before the door will open again (and after that, will stay open for nearly 2 minutes before closing).

    We also found that if we were on the 14th floor, pressing the 14th floor button will result in the button lighting up green and then going off immediately. Pressing the 10th floor button will result in the button lighting up red.

    We can thus conclude that in Elisa's CCTV footage, in the instance when the door was going to shut and then reopened again, it was because Elisa had pressed Door Hold.

    I personally found the Door Hold button to be quite hard to notice on first sight, and had to study the panel to see where it is. Since Elisa seemed to be pressing all the buttons down the middle row without studying it carefully before pressing, she must have pressed the Door Hold button unintentionally.

    There was no strange odour in the 14th floor nor in the lift. (not discounting the possibility that the hotel had already deep cleaned the entire area after the incident)

    When Elisa stepped back into the lift a second time and pressed all the buttons again, she must have unintentionally pressed the Door Hold button again, which left the door open for an extended period.

    The buttons outside of the elevator are located on the wall gap between the two elevators. According to Elisa's CCTV, she must have been in the left elevator.

    According to my own opinion, Elisa was definitely on the 14th floor in the video.
    The reason is as follows :
    The top button she pressed on the panel's middle row lit up and then went off.

    Some people on the web have questioned why, if Elisa was on the 14th floor, would she then press the 14th floor button in the elevator. My personal opinion is :

    1) At the time Elisa was in the elevator, she didn't look at the button panel carefully before pressing the buttons. She was just pressing the buttons whimfully/playfully. Therefore she didn't care which buttons she pressed or how many of them were pressed.

    2) Elisa may not be in her full mental capacity at that time, and that does not have to mean "drugs" or "intoxication". Sometimes just a simple absent-mindedness in people can also cause people to do things like this.

    (Guy then posts a few pics of how each floor looks like from the elevator when the door opens)

    In Elisa's video, we see that after she left the elevator, the elevator door closed and went down a few storeys. The door opens again. Then closes. Then opens again. Then closes.

    In the pictures posted above, we can clearly see comparisons of the video clips with how views opposite the elevator doors actually look like (photos taken by me).

    We can thus deduce that after Elisa leaves, the door closes and then when the door reopens, the elevator is on the 10th floor. Then the elevator door closes again, and when it reopens a second time, the elevator is now on the 7th floor.

    As we can see, our previous conclusions were right.

    Elisa Lam was on the 14th floor in the video.

    So please can all our friends on the Web stop questioning whether Elisa was on the 14th floor or not.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    My translation of page 98 of Chinese forum http://bbs.tianya.cn/post-free-30771...0%83%E6%9F%A5]

    Let's look at some photos of the 14th floor.

    Opposite the elevator, there is a mirror, but because of the E shape structure of the building, the mirror isn't actually located in a position directly opposite the spot in between both elevators. In fact, a big part of the mirror is on the spot opposite the right elevator.

    When one looks outward from the left elevator door, one can only see mostly an expanse of wall. One must actually stretch one's head out more when peering out of the elevator door to see the distinctive form of the right side of the building's interior.

    In the 2nd and 3rd pics we show the corridors on both sides of the elevators on the 14th floor. We can see from these pictures that there are no surveillance cameras on either side of the corridors outside the elevators. I have personally searched through the entire of the 14th floor. I have not found a single surveillance camera in all the common areas of the 14th floor.

    Even the hotel lobby did not appear to have any obvious surveillance cameras - though it is commonplace or standard for hotel lobbies in California to have surveillance cameras in the lobby. Perhaps I have just been unable to find them in the lobby and they were there all along.

    But I have seen one surveillance camera at the back door of the hotel.

    On the left side of the elevator, along the corridor, there is one residential/hotel room. According to my investigation, this hotel utilises all it's available space to the max, i.e. everywhere you go in the hotel, there are guest rooms everywhere, including even the area to the left of the lift, next to the stairs, etc.

    THerefore I can deduce the following :

    1) Some commenters on the web said Elisa could have been pursued by an assailant after she exited the lift, which I initially disagreed upon. Upon arriving here at the hotel, I have more reason to believe that it was very unlikely she was pursued by an assailant, as there are guest rooms in every single nook and cranny of the hotel. It is very unlikely that an assailant would risk being found out by pursuing Elisa in such a public space where any commotions can be easily heard by people staying in the rooms. And where if Elisa just screamed, someone would very possibly have heard her.

    2) Someone suggested perhaps Elisa saw something she was not supposed to see - a crime being committed, etc. and therefore she was silenced by the perpetrators to keep her from ratting out to someone. I said the probability of that is also low. From being here at the hotel, I can't see how anyone would want to risk being discovered by commiting a crime in such a public area where there are guest rooms everywhere and the chances of discovery was so high.

    So what could possibly have happened to Elisa?

    Test 2 : Retracing Elisa's steps in the elevator

    From our test, we conclude that it was most likely Elisa was conversing with someone standing on the right side of the elevator she was in. But then why did Elisa exit the elevator to the left? And walked off to the left?

    (diagram shown of the lifts and surveillance camera/button panel positioning)

    As we can see from the diagram, the up/down button panel outside the elevators was located in the wall gap in between both elevators. In the video, Elisa noticeably sticks her head out of the lift at first, looking to the right. This clearly shows there was something to the right of the lift that caused her to focus her attention there first.

    Okay. Below is an explanation of what could have happened during Elisa's elevator video.

    As we can see from the picture below (picture of corridor outside elevator and stairs shown), this hotel does not have designated stair well areas for stairs. In fact, in this hotel, it is more of an "open plan" design where the stairs are integrated into the common areas. Once a person exits the elevator, after walking a few steps (about 3 metres), whether to the left or to the right of the elevators, one bypasses a door and see the stairs straightaway.

    (2 more pictures of the stairs)

    As we can see, the floor heights in the hotel are pretty low, so it doesn't take much stair climbing to go from one floor to the next (takes about 3 seconds, if one walks quickly).

    Test 3 :
    It didn't take more than a minute for Brandon (my companion) to reach the top floor alarmed door by climbing the stairs from the 14th floor. From the 4th floor all the way up to the top floor alarmed door, it didn't take more than 4 minutes.

    Conclusion of test 3 : If the murderer wanted to move Elisa's body up to the roof, going by the stairs is an extremely quick and effective way of doing so. But from the layout of the hotel floors, we know also that there are guest rooms all around the vicinity of the stairs. Hence it would be really easy to be discovered doing so by hotel guests, residents or staff.

    Therefore we can deduce that the likelihood of Elisa being pursued by an assailant, etc. is very low, because the stairs are so close to the guest rooms that anything happening here would be easily detected or heard by anyone in the hotel.

    We then went up to the roof and went up the water tank area.

    We will continue to post pictures and observations as we have them ready.


    Some people online have said that if Elisa accidentally pressed Door Hold, she would have rectified it by pressing Door Close. So why didn't she?

    We have already explained previously that Elisa thought there was someone else outside the elevator pressing the buttons. Normally, if we enter a lift and then the lift door opened again after we thought it would close, we would naturally assume someone is outside the lift making the door open up again. That's why Elisa stuck her head out to see if anyone was there. Besides, we have deduced that perhaps Elisa never really wanted to go downstairs in the lift anyway. Perhaps she was actually playing a game, having fun, or flirting with someone and playing hide and seek or hard to get.

    Lastly can people please stop posting up fake scary pictures alleged to be of Elisa's. Someone just posted a picture saying that it was a self-portrait photo Elisa took of herself whilst in the hotel. If things are going to proceed along those lines, one might as well put on a face mask and take a photo of oneself, post it online and claim that this is a picture of the alleged "murderer" taken right after one has killed Elisa, with maybe someone posing as dead Elisa lying in the background of the photo with red lips that betray the authenticity of the poster!

    I find it disgraceful that people out there are trying to spook our online readers with fake spooky pictures like this. I hope those who have seen those fake pictures not be put off by them and return to engage in robust discussion over what really happened to Elisa Lam.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    My translation of Chinese forum http://bbs.tianya.cn/post-free-30771...0%83%E6%9F%A5]

    Okay me and Brandon finally reached the roof.

    Before we did this, we looked at the floor plan and saw that there are 3 fire escape stairs in this hotel. But I thought that the fire escape stairs on the front of the building as well as the middle of the building are not that worth trying, so me and Brandon decided to take the fire escape stairs at the back of the hotel (on the part of the hotel building marked C on the floorplan shown below in the photo)


    This is the reason why I chose the fire escape stairs on part C of the hotel.
    On part A of the hotel, the fire escape stairs face the main street and opposite the hotel, there are several skyscrapers. On part B of the hotel, the fire escape stairs are directly facing the guest/residential rooms on part C of the hotel. Therefore it is more likely that the perpetrator and Elisa used the fire escape stairs on part C of the hotel - for privacy.

    Facing the fire escape stairs on part C of the hotel is a car park and some lower buildings. No other high rise buildings facing these stairs for another good 1000 metres or so. Therefore for any crime to take place on these fire escape stairs at night, the likelihood of being seen by someone is very minimal.

    This is a video we took when we were up on the roof : [ame="http://www.tudou.com/programs/view/E1bidKZeFeY/"]顶楼_在线视频观看_土豆网视频 顶楼[/ame]

    As can be seen on our video :

    1. Going up to the roof is not a difficult accomplishment. You just need the guts to do it. Because the ladder that leads to the roof from the fire escape stairs is completely vertical, those who are afraid of heights or are timid would probably not dare to attempt climbing it.

    2. In regards to the graffiti, we can see several areas on the roof which have graffiti on them. We can thus surmise that quite a few people have climbed up to the roof. As regards to the rumours surfaced on the internet about claims that Elisa's death was some cult/satanic murder, we think the likelihood is quite low. Reason being that if it was indeed cult/satanic related, then there should only be a few graffiti marks up here confined to one or two areas that all relate distinctively to this cult/satanic practice. Yet we saw a variety of different graffiti made in several different spots on the roof, which thus leads us to conclude that these graffiti were more likely the works of hotel staff, guests or residents in this hotel.

    3. The loft/attic up on the roof is for elevator equipment and storage. It has 2 levels within it - upper and lower level. The upper level of this room is locked - the sound of machine humming can be heard coming from it. This is for the machinery. The lower level of the loft/attic is not locked - very dark inside with no light - there is a large ventilation pipe inside. On the floor is some black plastic bag, and some trash.

    According to the video, we can glean the following information and conclusions :

    1) If Elisa and the perp willingly went up to the roof in the first place, it wouldn't be difficult to dispose of her body in the tank.

    2) If the perp had moved her body to the roof from downstairs, by carrying her on his back for example, it is difficult, but not impossible. After considering the possible risk of accident/mishap from carrying me on his back and attempting to transport me up to the roof from below, me and Brandon decided to abandon our initial plan to test-drive the theory that Elisa's body could have been carried up to the rooftop by the perp (wanting to dispose of her body)

    3) There was really a lot of different graffiti on the rooftop, which lowers the possibility that this was in any way Satanic/cult related.

    4) There is a loft/attic on the rooftop. Which makes it possible that Elisa could have been imprisoned there for a while before her death.

    5) In the picture I posted earlier on :


    It can be seen that police and other personnel were standing by the door of the loft/attic. So I believe that the police have already checked round the lower unlocked level of the loft/attic.

    Although both upper and lower levels of the loft/attic had their doors shut, I was able to open the door to the lower level.


    Inside here, there is a large ventilation pipe and lots of different tools.

    I tried opening the door to the upper level of the loft/attic. It was locked.

    Here is another video we took while on the hotel roof - its to do with the water tanks. [ame="http://www.tudou.com/programs/view/1h7_XyJLxE0/"]水箱特写_在线视频观看_土豆网视频 水箱特写[/ame]

    From this video, we can glean the following information :

    1) There is a ladder right beside the tank (where Elisa was found). This wooden ladder looks very old. It looks very weather-beaten, therefore it must have been left here permanently. I climbed up this ladder with ease, and upon closer inspection, it seems this ladder has never been moved from this spot. This can explain why Elisa's body was found in this particular tank - because the wooden ladder is always right next to it.

    2) At the BOTTOM portion of this water tank, there is an outlet where the water flows OUT into the rest of the hotel. This water outlet does not measure any larger than one palm-width across - the diameter not more than 10 centimetres across. Police say that the likelihood of Elisa's clothing being sucked into this outlet is very minimal. If her clothes did get sucked out through this outlet, it would result in pipe blockage.

    At the TOP of the water tank, there is a piped outlet where water flows INTO the tank.

    As per our web friends have suggested, another way of getting to the top of this water tank is via the red ladder on the side of the loft/attic. I climbed up this ladder rather easily. It is nearly 90 degrees vertical, but with a slight incline.


    But if one tried to carry the corpse on one's back and climb this red ladder, it is more difficult. More difficult than climbing up the wooden ladder on the side of the water tank.

    After coming up to the roof of the attic/loft, I noticed that the television receiver and the chimney all had some graffiti written on them.



    After walking to the side of roof of the attic/loft, I can see the top of the water tank.


    This tank is located the closest from the side of the roof of the attic/loft.
    There is a drop from here to the water tank of a maximum of 2 metres.
    Its not hard to go down to the tank from here.

    Also, as Brandon said to me, it would be possible to lower the body down into the water tank from the rooftop edge of the attic/loft. Because this water tank is the closest to the loft/attic. The other tanks are further away. Regardless of the fact, it is still considerably difficult to attempt such a feat.

    However, one could also first climb down from the attic/loft rooftop edge onto the water tank first, before disposing of the body in the tank.


    This is the water tank next to the one Elisa was found in. It has a lid on, but the lid is not locked.

    From my observation, the lids on the outer water tanks appeared to be slightly smaller in size compared to the lids on the tanks closer to the attic/loft building.

    We also discovered 2 more things whilst standing on the roof of the attic/loft :



    Yes. We found empty beer bottles on the roof of the attic/loft building. One under the chimney. The other under the dish.

    My first thought : Someone had been drinking at this spot.

    My second thought : Could Elisa have been to this very spot to drink too?

    My third thought : Such crucial evidence might have Elisa's fingerprints on them. Why didn't the LAPD take them back for further investigation?

    My fourth thought : No matter whether the police had taken all evidence back, or whether the police failed to find these 2 pieces of evidence - Why would there still be people coming up to the rooftop of the attic/loft to drink after the discovery of Elisa's body here?

    My fifth thought : After such a grim discovery at the hotel, who would still wish to come up here to have a drink? Other than the murderer himself?!

    My above thoughts are not comforting and throw up lots of suspicion.

    If the police cannot even find such crucial evidence, if the police failed to bring crucial evidence back for further tests/investigations, then what can we say about the competency of the LAPD? Are they doing their jobs properly?

    If the police did not find such evidence when they were searching this place, if this evidence wasn't present at the time, then who else would still dare to come up here to have a drink, apart from the murderer himself? Coming back to where the murder had taken place in order to relive or savour the murder scene in his head all over again? If that's the case then how sick is this murderer indeed?

    We are almost finished with our field report of the Cecil hotel. I have more pictures that I haven't put up, but if anyone is interested, I will supply these additional pictures to them.

    Hopefully the reader would have gotten some useful bits of information from what we have shown here. Before this trip, there were lots of "ifs" and imaginary scenarios offered to us. As our investigation deepens, we will come upon different ideas and follow different leads. This is a good thing.

    As for me and Brandon, we have developed our own inferences from our field work today. Let me list them below.

    First of all however, let me answer a few questions from our friends online.

    1) The question of Elisa's footwear / sandals.

    The hotel does not provide sandals/flip flops for guests, so the sandals/flip flops she wears in the video cannot have been given to her by the hotel.

    2) The M level of the building is the Mezzanine area. It is right above the Lobby. There is a canteen and a lounge. The B level is the basement. When we reached the B level we could hear sounds of hotel staff chatting and laughing. Before we went it was suggested to us that there might be a room on the 15th floor where Elisa's body was stored. We investigated the 15th floor ourselves and did not find any such suspicious room.

    3) There are reports saying that Elisa's body was found with all four limbs broken. Upon investigation, I've found there were no official reports of Elisa's limbs being broken. There was only official report saying that Elisa's limbs looked abnormal, which may be a result of her body being suspended in water and subject to water currents for an extended period of time.

    4) The opening at the top of the water tank where Elisa was found was not small. Me and Brandon found we could each easily fit through the opening. Perhaps a very obese person may not fit through - but otherwise, any normally-sized person (even one who is slightly plump in appearance) would probably fit through that opening easily. Even if Elisa had been murdered first before her body was disposed in the tank, it would be possible to fit her body through the tank easily.

    Now that we have addressed some of our web friends' most pressing questions, we shall go into our own inferences from the field work we accomplished today.

    1) How did Elisa's body end up in the tank?

    a) She could have wanted to end her own life. Climbed up the wooden ladder on the side of the water tank, open the lid and jumped into the tank.

    Point of suspicion : If she did commit suicide, then its very hard for her body to achieve the kind of position in which she was later found - i.e. head pointing downwards towards the tank base, feet pointing upwards towards the tank top. This is because when one tries to die by drowning, the body's instinct is to struggle to breathe, and thus the resulting body posture of a drowned person is normally head pointing upwards towards the sky, feet pointing downwards.

    b) Elisa committed suicide by jumping from the top of the attic/loft roof into the water tank opening. In actuality, this is not as easily done as our web friends might imagine. The thing is, there is a distance of about not more than 2 metres from the attic/loft roof to the water tank. And the top of the water tank is not smooth/straight, and there are gaps and openings in between. For a girl to attempt to do this is extremely difficult - this is my opinion after personally inspecting the place.

    c) Elisa's body was disposed of into the water tank by the perpetrator by climbing up the wooden ladder first. This is a more probable scenario. Because it's much easier to do this via going up the wooden ladder, than from the roof of the attic/loft building. It would also be easier to push the body into the tank slowly and surely by doing it this way. One man would be able to do this on his own. If it's a two man job, it'd be very easily done.

    d) Elisa's body was lowered into the tank from the rooftop of the attic/loft building. This is considerably difficult. It doesn't matter if the perpetrator tries to do this by first jumping off the attic/loft building rooftop before disposing her body, or by dumping her body straight down into the tank opening from the roof of the attic/loft building. Quite impossible for one man to do this on his own. But may be possible if there were two men involved.

    From the above we can surmise that :
    1) It's easy to enter the water tank.
    2) Even easier to climb up the water tank from the wooden ladder leaning on it.

    2) How did Elisa end up on the roof of the hotel?

    From our own field work today, we deduce that most people (those who are familiar with the place) would find it easy to go to the rooftop. All they need is guts to do this. Besides, from the things we saw on the roof, we can surmise that quite a number of people have gone up there before. From the graffiti, we can surmise that some people go up there on a very regular basis.

    Besides, someone was drinking beer at the rooftop.

    Therefore there are a few possibilities as to how Elisa ended up going to the roof :
    a) She could have gone up there herself via the fire escape stairs.

    b) She could have gone up there with a member of the hotel staff. The hotel staff would have the keys necessary to unlock that locked door at the top of the flight of stairs inside the hotel, and the staff member would know how to disable the alarm.

    c) She could have followed someone up to the rooftop. This person she followed could have been a hotel member of staff, or a guest at the hotel (leaning towards a guest who is very familiar with the place).

    d) Her dead body could have been carried by a member of the hotel staff up the hotel stairs through the alarmed security door onto the rooftop (one man would be able to do this on his own, and two men would accomplish this very easily).

    e) Her dead body could have been carried by someone up the fire escape stairs onto the rooftop (it would be of considerable difficulty for one man, but not impossible. and for two men, it would be doable for sure.)

    From the above info, we can surmise :

    Any hotel staff or regular guest to the hotel can go up to the rooftop.

    One man can commit the crime and dispose of her body on his own.
    Two men (or more) can easily do this.

    It is more likely for Elisa to have ended up on the rooftop via the fire escape stairs (whether she was dead or alive at the time)

    It is far more likely for Elisa and her murderer to have gone up together (alive) to the rooftop via the fire escape stairs.

    3) Where could Elisa have been prior to going up to the rooftop?

    The CCTV footage is the last we see of Elisa's movements. From the footage we see that she exits the elevator to the left. Thus she might have :

    a) Gone back to her own room via the hotel stairs by the elevator. Because the layout of the hotel is such that the stairs are "open plan" and unobscured from the guest rooms, a single girl may feel relatively daring enough to go down those stairs on her own even on a late night.

    b) Gone to a room on the 14th floor. (whether she was forced to or willingly did so)

    c) Gone to a room on the 15th floor. (whether she was forced to or willingly did so) From our field work today, we know that it takes a maximum of 10 seconds to get to the 15th floor from the 14th via stairs. Thus we cannot eliminate the possibility that she did go to the 15th floor.

    d) Why posit a possible 13th floor? Because it isn't logical. We can already confirm she was staying on the 4th floor of the hotel. So if she wanted to go downstairs, or pretended to go downstairs, she wouldn't have gone up one floor and then took the elevator down to go downstairs.

    e) She may have been on the 15th floor wanting to get into the lift. Someone on the 15th floor is trying to dissuade her or not allow her to go back to her room. She walks down to the 14th floor to take the lift. After that the person on the 15th floor comes down the stairs to the 14th floor as well to find her. This is a possibility we cannot dismiss either.

    f) Since there is a maximum of 10 metres between the elevators and both flights of stairs on either side, and the floor heights are very low, going up and down the floors via stairs is a very convenient and fast method. It is very hard to deduce if the person she was seeing is living in the room on the right or the left side of the elevator on the 14th floor.

    I personally measured the time it took for me to go up the stairs from where the 14th floor elevator was situated to the where the 15th floor elevator was, and then went back down to the where the 14th floor elevator was again. This did not take me more than 1 minute to accomplish.

    g) Elisa could have returned to her room on the 4th floor, got killed, the murderer then transported her body to the 15th floor. Time taken to do this shouldn't have taken any more than 10 minutes. If the perpetrator is a healthy, fit and strong man, he may take as little as 4 to 5 minutes to do this. And then after that, he disposed of her body into the water tank.

    I shall not be discussing Elisa's behaviour in the video here, as there has already been extensive discussion of that prior to this post, and I have already made my opinions clear regarding why she acted the way she did.

    I shall end this post here. I will post more if I have any more to say. Do take your time to pore through all this information.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Thanks to four_seasons who forwarded me to new video footage of the hotel's interior shot by Chinese amateurs. Not sure if any of you have seen it but I'll post it here with translations.

    Video is here : [ame="http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNTIwNzg4NTc2.html"]钃濆彲鍎垮瑗垮皵閰掑簵鎻*绉 - 杩樺師钃濆彲鍎跨敓鍛芥渶鍚庢梾绋嬫墍鍦ㄥ湴鈥斿湪绾 挎*鏀锯斾紭閰风綉锛岃棰戦珮娓呭湪绾胯鐪媅/ame]

    Now this is video footage taken inside the hotel, going up the fire escape ladder, stairs, etc. but they are all mixed in with Chinese commentary/words.
    I think the video footage itself is pretty self-explanatory. So I'll translate the main points iterated in the videos through words/commentary with some markers of time during the video:

    "The hotel is pretty empty this time. Feels deserted and cold inside.
    We will start filming from the lobby. The aim of this video is not to do sleuthing work but to allow our viewers to have a better feel of what the hotel is like.

    (1.24) The hotel was built in 1927 in downtown LA. It is shaped in an E - 1 main corridor/walkway internally linking 3 main parts of the building... etc.

    (1.42) Here is the front, side and back view of the hotel.

    (1:52) From the back view of the hotel, we can spot the fire escape stairs with the ladder at the top of the stairs leading to the roof.

    From the front view of the hotel, we can see how old and dated the hotel looks.
    Inside the hotel, it looks just as dated and old. Only the lobby looks good.

    Now we will walk into the hotel entrance from the main street. And now when we enter it, we see the lobby, with the mezzanine lounge upstairs and the hotel elevators.
    Here we can see there are only 2 elevators in this entire hotel.
    Elisa was probably in the left elevator in the CCTV footage, as we can see here.

    Entering the lift, and then going to our room.

    There is a small wardrobe/storage space in the room. Room is very small, cramped. Shower/toilet facilities are very basic. A big contrast indeed between the condition of the rooms and how the hotel lobby looks.

    Now let's exit the room and take a walk around the E shaped formation of our floor walkways/corridors. We have provided a portion of the fire escape floorplan in the corner of the video clip to illustrate to you which part of the floorplan we are currently walking through.

    (3:06) We start at the 14th floor, at where the fire escape stairway is located on this part of the floorplan.

    Walking from here we pass the numerous rooms and reach the main corridor linking all 3 main parts of the building.

    (3.36) None of the rooms on our right are guest/residential rooms. They are all common rooms like toilets, showers, etc. In other words, anyone can use these rooms that we pass by on the right.

    (3.39) Here we pass the hotel elevators on our left. and we see that round mirror opposite the elevator.

    (3.46) Now we continue walking down the main corridor/walkway, past the elevators on our left, and we get to the stairs. Now we're on the 14th floor, but if this was the 15th floor, these stairs would lead straight to the roof door, which is locked and fitted with alarm and that only hotel staff can access. And we continue walking past the stairs and go past the guest rooms, coming to the end of our walk here.

    (4.16) Next we will be exploring the elevators. Finding out how the buttons work, what we can see, etc.

    (4.35) We found that the elevator door stays open, not even after we have pressed several floor buttons. The only way to get the elevator door to close is if we press the Door Close button at the bottom, or if someone on another floor has pressed the elevator button outside the elevator to signal the elevator to go to their floor.

    (4.50) There are only 2 buttons on the panel outside of the elevator. Up or down.

    (5.08) We found that Door Hold button works. Once pressed when the door is closing, the door will open up fully once again.

    (5.29) We show you how it'd look to Elisa when she looked out of the elevator to see both sides adjacent to where she was.

    As we can see, no matter how far we stuck our head out of the elevator to look both sides, it is still impossible to see everything that is outside the elevator.

    (5.33) As we can see here are 2 blind spots on either side of the elevator. So no matter how far I stuck my head out to look both sides, no matter how slowly I did this, no matter how much slowly and carefully I looked, I still couldn't see what was in those 2 blind spots..

    (6.10) There are a few possible routes to get to the roof.

    (6.21) This is the 1st possible route. I have used a black square on the floorplan to indicate this. It is also the place where we started this video tour of the 14th floor earlier on.
    (6.28) This is what the ladder to the roof looks like from here.

    (6.37) There are other fire escape stairs and ladders that lead to the roof. This is the 2nd possible route to the roof, indicated by a black square on the floorplan.
    (6.40) This is what it looks like.

    (6.47) This is the 3rd possible route to the roof, marked by the black square on the plan. It is the 3rd fire escape stairs.
    (6.50) This is how it looks like.

    It seems quite difficult for someone to go up these stairs and ladders whilst carrying a corpse.

    (7.02) The 4th route to go up to the roof is much easier than climbing fire escape stairs and ladders. It is this one - the main hallway stairs that lead to the roof via an alarmed locked door. Also this roof entrance is the entrance that is closest in proximity to the water tanks. We reckon this may be the most probable and easiest route taken by the perpetrator.

    (7.12) Now we shall ascend the main hallway stairs that lead to the roof. We start going up the stairs from the 15th floor now. But we couldn't open the door as it was locked..

    (7.33) We decided to take the fire escape stairs and climb up the ladder.

    (7.39) After reaching the roof, we looked down the ladder and this was what it looked like. As you can see, it may be quite difficult for some to try to get to the roof like this.

    (7.42) From the fire escape ladder, we had to walk about 30s to reach the water tank. It really is quite a distance. If someone was carrying a corpse doing this, it would take longer, and there would be a risk of being seen doing this.

    (8.09) We caught sight of a pair of brown double doors on this building. We decided this couldn't be the same door as the locked, alarm-fitted roof door that we accessed earlier on via the main hallway stairs. Because that door was a single door, not a pair of double doors.

    (8.26) We continue scouting around the rooftop and now we believe this little building here with a single door must be the locked. alarm-fitted roof door that we came to earlier on. We estimated this door to be about 25 metres from the water tanks.

    (8.36) We turned back and saw that the building next to the water tanks has a red door at the top of a flight of red stairs, and this door is only accessible by hotel staff. There is a ladder right next to it, which we climbed up.

    (8.49) We reached the top of the ladder and this is the view. This is a good vantage point of the entire rooftop of the hotel, as well as the top of the water tanks.

    (8.59) It can be seen from this vantage point that to attempt to lower a corpse into a water tank from here isn't that hard. In fact it seems easier than to attempt to dispose of the corpse in the tank by climbing up the wooden ladder lying next to the water tank. So this could be a possible place where the perpetrator had disposed of the corpse into the tank.

    We hope this video has helped you get a better idea of the hotel and help form your own judgment about what might have happened to Elisa."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    My translation of a Chinese news article on Yahoo! News China published today (thanks to four_seasons again for directing me to this) :


    Legendary inspector Dr. Henry Lee speaks about Elisa Lam's case : "This may not be a suicide".

    There has been widespread international publicity on Elisa Lam's mysterious case. On 25th February 2013, our reporters from NanDu Daily got in touch with the legendary inspector Dr. Henry Lee. Nicknamed "The Chinese Sherlock Holmes", Dr. Lee has over 50 years of experience in law enforcement. He has worked on over 8000 cases. Some of the cases he was involved in include the reinvestigation of John F. Kennedy's assassination, the Monica Lewinsky scandal, the JonBenet Ramsay case, and other famous cases. After his retirement, he set up the National Cold Case Centre at the University of New Haven's Henry C. Lee Institute of Forensic Science.

    Dr Henry Lee has been paying a lot of attention to the Elisa Lam case. Dr Lee is an avid proponent of the principle : "Let the evidence speak for itself". In his telephone interview with us, he uses his expertise to analyse the Elisa Lam case.

    "This may not be a suicide."

    NanDu : What are your views on the case?

    Henry Lee : As I am not directly involved in this investigation, I can only offer an analysis based on information given by various news reports. It has been reported that her dead body was found in a water tank. So there can only be 2 reasons for this : She ended up in the tank on her own, or someone murdered her.

    The manner of death is not the same as the cause of death. In America, there are 5 manners of death : Suicidal, Homicidal, Accidental, Natural, or Undetermined. And then there are about 30 causes of death, including drowning, poisoning, gunshot wound, stab wound, etc. This is why when a case like Elisa's occur, the first thing to do would be to ascertain whether she died before she entered water, or after. This is not difficult, because her abdomen and lungs can be examined to see if any water has entered them; her windpipe can be examined to see if the micro organisms inside are similar to the ones found in the tank, etc. Now the second thing to do would be to ascertain if she has any external or internal injuries. Then the third thing would be to see if there are any traces of drugs, alcohol, medications, etc. left in her system. Once we have obtained the results of these examinations, we can then evaluate and conclude this case. In the beginning, many media outlets speculated that Elisa committed suicide based on the circumstances, but this is not necessarily the case.

    NanDu : Is it difficult to do all these medical examinations on her?

    Henry Lee : The process can be roughly broken down into 3 steps. The first step is the autopsy. This ascertains if she has any stab wounds, strangulation injuries or gunshot wounds, if she had been beaten, knocked out, etc. This is usually very easy for the examiner to find out. Examining her abdomen and lungs for signs of water - this is also pretty straightforward. The second step - if Elisa had used any typical drugs or medications, this will be ascertained through the toxicology test, which is normally completed in 1 to 2 days. But to test for more unusual poisons or drugs in her system would require very specialised drug analysis that will require her specimens to be sent to a select few laboratories worldwide - these are the only places in the world which can conduct such specialised drug tests. The third step would be to look at Elisa's past medical history, see if she had any prior mental illness, and making comparisons between X-rays taken of her before her death, and after.

    In addition, the water tank will be examined. What is its height? Was it locked previously? Would she have been able to climb up the tank? Can we find her fingerprints on the tank? I heard it reported that her body was found naked. Is that true? Or was she actually clothed? If she was found nude, then were there any of her personal items left behind between the time she left her room and just before she entered the tank? These questions will have to be answered by very experienced experts in this field.

    "Let the evidence speak for itself, do not jump to conclusions."

    NanDu: Going by the information we have been given by the media, do you have any opinions about what might have happened to Elisa?

    Henry Lee : It is very hard to rely on information found on the Web. Even though the case has been published online and in newspapers, those involved in the investigation would normally prefer not to comment on the case, because we know that the information given out in the media is not often accurate. I don't usually have any opinions on cases because I think its more important to examine the evidence, let the evidence speak for itself. It is very important to take an absolutely unbiased attitude when investigating a case. Us investigators cannot jump to conclusions. If it really is the case that Elisa was found nude as per reports on the internet, then of course that makes the circumstances of her death suspicious. If she committed suicide, then it will be necessary to see if she had left a suicide note. Its very easy to find out if she had left any suicide note. Some people said perhaps she had got involved in a romantic situation that went wrong. All of these are just rumours. Without hard evidence, it is very hard to make any conclusions.

    NanDu: So does that mean that its dangerous to make hasty assumptions?

    Henry Lee : I believe we must go by hard evidence. The simplest thing to do is to wait for the investigating departments and the Coroner's office to release their investigation and autopsy reports. These are all official documents, so they will be publicly released. After that, we can then begin to analyse and review the case. In past investigations that I was involved in, it was apparent that even the most legit news sources can be biased and misleading - needless to say, internet sources are worse.

    NanDu : There is surveillance footage of Elisa in an elevator. Are you aware of it?

    Henry Lee : Oh yes, that video. It only shows her in the elevator. The police have made a portion of the video public - I'm sure the police possess more video footage of her other than that. We are also not certain at what time that video was taken. This is why it can be so misleading. We don't know if the police purposely released that video clip of her doing those actions. We don't know what the true intentions of the police were when they released that video. She was waiting for the elevator, but which floor was she on? For how long had she been loitering in and around the elevator? We just don't know the exact details.

    "Solving a case is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle."

    NanDu : According to American media sources, initial autopsy findings showed she had no signs of trauma or injury?

    Henry Lee : Even if she had no signs of trauma or injury, there are still other questions to be answered : Where did her clothes end up? Were her clothes and shoes in her room? Were they found next to the water tank? This aspect would be publicly reported straight away. If I were an investigator on the scene, the first thing I'd be looking for would be her clothes, bags, purses, handphones, etc. These are personal items that modern girls usually have on them, so where are they? The surveillance footage taken of her already tells us what she was wearing on that day, so the first step must be to find these personal items of hers. After that, we need to look at whether she left any suicide notes in her room, whether there are any signs of a struggle that took place in her room, whether there are any cup(s), beer/wine/spirits bottle(s), or miscellaneous items left behind in her room. If beer/wine/spirits bottle(s) are found in her room, then laboratory tests will be conducted on any traces left behind in the bottle(s). If there are any cup(s) found in her room, then its much easier. Laboratory tests will be conducted on any traces left behind on the cup(s) and the results will be compared with what can be found in her body.

    Also, we can find out from her handphone who were the last people she spoke to on the phone. The elevator footage should also tell the time and date of when the footage was recorded. It is imperative to form a detailed timeline of events starting from the day she was last seen alive. For this sort of case, this would require a lot of witnesses, soft and hard evidence, and they have to be pieced together like a jigsaw puzzle. At present all we have to go on is information available from media outlets and online. For this reason I am very reluctant to comment too much on this case.

    NanDu : The Cecil Hotel has been the scene of many crimes. What is your opinion on this?

    Henry Lee : The area around that hotel is not very safe, but that in itself doesn't prove she was murdered. It is very important to see if her body has any injuries, if there are any signs of sexual assault, and to find out why her body ended up in that water tank. Is it because the perpetrator didn't want to be found out? If the web reports are indeed true - if her body was really found to be naked - then of course her death becomes very suspicious and it would be imperative to find her clothes, whether they have been ripped/shredded, if there are any traces of mud, bodily fluids, hairs, etc. on them.

    NanDu : Did the LAPD invite you to assist with this case?

    Henry Lee : No. I have retired many times before. I am already out of the game. I am still involved in work at the National Cold Case Centre at the University of New Haven. If the Elisa Lam case remains unsolved for a long time, then it will be passed on to the National Cold Case Centre and we will assist in any way we can to solve this case. In America over 30% of cases so far have remained unsolved. There are on average 6000 to 7000 cases to solve every year. In addition, there are 20,000 to 30,000 sexual offence cases that remain unsolved as yet. So many cases go unsolved because of insufficient clues. And they become cold cases - unsolved cases. Now that I'm already retired, my National Cold Case Centre assists police forces worldwide - particularly the American police force, and we specialise in solving cold cases. If the LAPD does eventually announce they are unable to solve this case, and ask for assistance from the National Cold Case Centre, then we will assist. America is made up of many jurisdictions. It is not up to me to decide whether I will be investigating a particular case, no matter how much I may wish to.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    up north

    Translation Thread - Chinese/Cantonese translations

    Please post all translations of articles, blogs here.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Here's my translation of a news article from Dushi (Vancouver Chinese news) posted 2nd March 2013 here :


    "Although the LAPD have not issued any official statements about Elisa Lam's toxicology reports, there have been reports of late claiming that Elisa's body is scheduled for burial on the 9th of this month. Elisa's family have not commented.

    Singtao Daily reporters arrived at Elisa's family home on Friday hoping to verify these claims. When Elisa's father answered the door, he declined the opportunity to comment, waving his hands to say no. In addition, Elisa's father appeared to look much thinner and frailer than he did last month in Los Angeles during the press conference, perhaps due to grieving over his daughter's death.

    Elisa Lam's family operates a popular restaurant on Hastings Street. Last Friday, it looked like it was still closed for business. Behind the window pane on the front door, a note taped to the window expressed words of gratitude to everyone who has supported the family throughout this difficult period. A basket of flowers sits in front of the front door of the restaurant.

    The American Coroner's office have estimated that the results of Elisa's toxicology tests should be available around the middle of next month."

    There's another news report here saying a similar thing :


    Thanks to four_seasons for the links

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Now that anansie had the translations posted, my last 3 posts should be deleted, but I can't delete the first two of them.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    My translation of a newspaper report about Elisa's funeral here : http://news.ifeng.com/world/special/...961426_0.shtml

    Elisa Lam buried in the same cemetery as famous Hong Kong actress Lydia Shum

    News dated 11th March 2013

    A picture of Elisa at the funeral showing her smiling expression, forever etched onto her friends' and family's memories.

    According to reports by Canada's Sing Tao Daily, Elisa Lam, the Canadian Chinese UBC student found dead under mysterious circumstances in a hotel in Los Angeles after travelling there solo, has been buried at Burnaby's Forest Lawn Memorial Park on the 9th of March. Approximately 50 to 60 friends and family members attended the funeral, many of them visibly unable to contain themselves, wiping their tears away.

    Elisa's funeral was held on the afternoon on the same day (March 9th) at the Glenhaven Memorial Chapel (1835 E. Hastings St. in Vancouver BC). From around 9 am, deliveries of flower wreaths were continually streaming in. One of these wreaths, adorned with white chrysanthemums and purple carnations, had a message on it that read "In loving memory of Elisa Lam", expressing the grief her friends and family felt.

    It has been reported that the mourning hall had a large LCD screen, on which was displayed various photos of Elisa and her birthdate. At around 10.30 am, friends and family continually entered the hall to mourn her death, with quite a number of them being youths of around 20 years of age. They were a mix of predominantly Canadian Chinese youths with a few youths of Caucasian descent.

    One of them was a Canadian Chinese woman of around 20 years old, who said she was a friend of Elisa's. She commented that Elisa was a very pleasant girl who died so unexpectedly. She said that Elisa's parents were very distressed and stressed out after news of Elisa's death, and they found it hard to sleep.

    Another Canadian Chinese friend of Elisa's, a young man who declined to reveal his real name, said he knew Elisa for a number of years. He attended the funeral with a heavy heart and was not in a mood to comment any further.

    The funeral was about 3 hours long. At about 1 pm, 3 black hearses took Elisa's family and her coffin from the funeral parlour to Burnaby's Forest Lawn Memorial Park. At around 2 pm, Elisa's family and friends gathered at the cemetery, preparing for her burial. Staff at the cemetery turned away all reporters from the scene to prevent disruption of the burial ceremony.

    Forest Lawn Memorial Park has had 48 years of history, and many people have been buried there, including famous Hong Kong entertainer Lydia Shum, Canadian Chinese photographer 何樹桐, and notorious ex-Hong Kong inspector Lui Lok.

    Elisa Lam stayed at the Cecil Hotel on the 26th of January this year. On the 31st of the same month, her family lost contact with her. 2 weeks later, police publicly released surveillance footage of her in the hotel elevator, in which she appeared to be acting strangely. It wasn't until the 19th of February, when a maintenance worker was inspecting the water tanks on the roof of the hotel, that her body was found inside one of these tanks. Afterwards, her body was sent back to Vancouver. At the moment, the LAPD are awaiting Elisa's full autopsy report in order to determine why she died.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Who Dat Nation
    Please post all Chinese articles here. By keeping them in one thread they will be easy to find should any of our kindly posters (anansie ) have time to translate them for us.

    Muddy water in the street
    ; Muddy water 'round my feet... as sung by the inimitable Bessie Smith, "Muddy Water (A Mississippi Moan)"


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Great stuff. Thanks everyone!
    Northern Colorado Shootings / Incidents Lists & Time Table / Detailed Spreadsheet by Forager:

    Northern Colorado Shootings Case Map:

    NoCo / Thread 1 / Possible Serial Shooter has Colorado Drivers on Edge / WHO KILLED JACOBY AND CONNOLE?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2009


    Quote Originally Posted by margarita25 View Post
    Great stuff. Thanks everyone!
    Thanks for direction to this thread, margarita25, indeed ' great stuff" from everyone!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    another video analysis with details about the timestamp

    [ame="http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNTI4NjQwMjY0.html"]钃濆彲鍎跨數姊棰戦噸澶ф柊鍙戠幇.褰诲簳瑙e瘑 寮傝棰.璁ょ湡浣*灏辫緭浜130314鈥斿湪绾挎*鏀 锯斾紭閰风綉锛岃棰戦珮娓呭湪绾胯鐪媅/ame]

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    [ame="http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNTI4NjQwMjY0.html"]钃濆彲鍎跨數姊棰戦噸澶ф柊鍙戠幇.褰诲簳瑙e瘑 寮傝棰.璁ょ湡浣*灏辫緭浜130314鈥斿湪绾挎*鏀 锯斾紭閰风綉锛岃棰戦珮娓呭湪绾胯鐪媅/ame]

    a chinese video with analysis on the timestamp...
    (sorry...don't have the time to translate..)

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